Pledged to the Dead
"'Mon fleur, m'sieur,' she ordered haughtily, stretching out her hand; then her eyes lighted with sudden laughter and she turned her back to me, bending her head forward. 'But no, it fell into your hands; it is that you must put in its place again,' she ordered, pointing to a curl where she wished the flower set. 'Come, m'sieur, I wait upon you.'
"On the settee by the wall a guitar lay. She picked it up and ran her slim, pale fingers twice across the strings, sounding a soft, melancholy chord. When she began to sing, her words were slurred and languorous, and I had trouble understanding them; for the song was ancient when Bienville turned the first spadeful of earth that marked the ramparts of New Orleans:
O knights of gay Toulouse And sweet Beaucaire, Greet me my own true love And speak him fair....
"Her voice had the throaty, velvety quality one hears in people of the So